Barbara Ann Jennings, 83 of Honesdale, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones on Monday, June 21, 2021. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Robert Jennings. The couple married on December 30, 1956.
Born on February 21, 1938, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of the late Bernard and Mildred (Stephens) Strosahl. The family moved to Plainfield, New Jersey shortly thereafter, where Barbara was a 1955 graduate of Plainfield High School. Throughout her youth, Barbara was a much-accomplished pianist, and as a student at the prestigious Griffith Music School, would be offered a scholarship to attend the Julliard School for the Arts in New York City.
The family returned to Honesdale, where Barbara attended and graduated from the Wayne Commercial School, which served to provide her with the skills that would become invaluable to the family business. She initially worked as a Secretary at the Pennsylvania Highway Department in Indian Orchard, and after she and her husband Bob married, would go on to purchase the Art Studio Building, located at 600 Main Street in Honesdale in December, 1962. There they would create the Bob Jennings Photo Shop. In 1967, they would go on to purchase the former Butler Jewelers, which was renamed Jennings Jewelers. Soon after, they would combine both businesses into one, which remains today the current Jennings Photography and Jewelers, the longest operating business on Main Street in Honesdale. Barbara served as the Financial Manager, providing impeccable bookkeeping skills for the growing family business; both Barbara and Bob would provide a work ethic that would be modeled not only for their children, and now a third generation of family, but for many young persons in the community that needed a part-time job during their high school years. In addition, she served as the Business Manager for the Evidence Photographers International Council. Again, working alongside her husband Bob, the organization would provide instruction and knowledge to photographers both nationally and internationally in the varied areas of evidence photography. She was proud to say that at 83 years old, she was not retiring and continued to work until only recently when she became ill.
A devoted mother, Barbara’s home was known as a second home to many of her children’s friends, and her nickname of “Ma” was maintained by all to present day. She enjoyed time with her grandchildren, and then great-grandchildren. She was well known in the Honesdale community as the lady that always drove a Jeep, and young people would gift her with Jeep license plates and accessories over the years. She proudly displayed and used it all. Barbara loved to travel and was blessed to visit many national and international locations. She loved being near bodies of water, and whether in her youth at the New Jersey shore, or her beloved summer home on Lake Ariel, she would savor the evening sunsets. She was a natural artist, and parlayed her artistic abilities into home decorating; she would never pass up an offer to go antiquing, to an Ethan Allen store, or towards her impeccable fashion sense, any Talbots store. She was elegant and beautiful, and equally strong in nature, and fought her illness to the very end with a determination that was symbolic of her inner strength.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Kim Jennings-Markulis, and husband George Markulis of Stow, Ohio, and Robert Jennings II, Honesdale. She is also survived by her brother, Reverend David Strosahl and wife Reverend Cynthia Strosahl; grandchildren Jotanna O’Connell, Christina Richter, Alyssa Jennings, Christiana Markulis, great-grandchildren Aubrey Richter and Hayden Richter, and her nephew, Andrew Strosahl and niece, Reverend Sarah Strosahl-Kagi; grandnephew Asher Strosahl-Kagi and grandniece Ellie Strosahl-Kagi. She as well leaves behind her beloved German Shepherd, Murphy, her always faithful and much loved canine companion.
She was preceded in death by her sister-in-law Ann B. Schaffer.
Friends may visit the Hessling Funeral Home, Inc., 428 Main Street Honesdale on Friday, June 25, 2021, from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 26, 2021, with Revered Cynthia Strosahl and Sarah Strosahl-Kagi officiating. Interment will follow at St. John Lutheran Cemetery, Honesdale. The family is thankful to the following who will serve as Pallbearers: Andrew Strosahl, Eric Richter, Joseph Kellam, Ronald Krempasky, David Petroski, and Jeffrey Brown, with William Canfield, Andrew Krempasky and Jeffrey Southerton serving as Honorary Pallbearers.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude for Children, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, and the Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Drive, Honesdale, PA 18431. The family is grateful to the Compassionate Care Hospice who provided such wonderful care and attention to Barbara, even though for such a short time.